TRUDEAU PUSHED FOR POT

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Alfa, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    TRUDEAU PUSHED FOR POT

    OTTAWA -- Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau thought
    Canada's penalties for potheads were "rather harsh," according to
    30-year-old cabinet documents. As the current Liberal government moves
    to decriminalize marijuana, historic records from 1973 just released
    by the National Archives suggest the former PM was pushing his cabinet
    to relax the laws while facing stiff opposition from within his own
    ranks.

    "The prime minister commented that the penalties recommended for first
    offenders for illicit possession seemed rather harsh," one document
    reads.

    "(Health Minister) Marc Lalonde reported that he had found caucus
    members to be rather rigid in their views and to have considered his
    proposals somewhat lenient."

    The divisive nature of the raging pot debate remains three decades
    later, as Prime Minister Paul Martin prepares to re-introduce a
    decriminalization bill that would fine those caught with a small stash
    of less than 15 grams.

    Records of the closed-door pot discussions are among scores of secret
    documents that offer a glimpse into how Trudeau's minority government
    stickhandled sensitive issues of the day.
     
  2. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

    Reputation Points:
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    Messages:
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    Joined:
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    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    TRUDEAU THOUGHT POT LAWS TOO 'HARSH'

    OTTAWA -- Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau thought
    Canada's penalties for potheads were "rather harsh," according to
    30-year-old cabinet documents. As the current Liberal government moves
    to decriminalize marijuana, historic records from 1973 just released
    by the National Archives suggest the former PM was pushing his cabinet
    to relax the laws while facing stiff opposition from within his own
    ranks.

    "The prime minister commented that the penalties recommended for first
    offenders for illicit possession seemed rather harsh," one document
    reads.

    "(Health Minister) Marc Lalonde reported that he had found caucus
    members to be rather rigid in their views and to have considered his
    proposals somewhat lenient."

    Legislation in the U.S. and U.K. carried comparably stiffer penalties
    at the time, according to the records.

    The divisive nature of the raging pot debate remains three decades
    later, as Prime Minister Paul Martin prepares to reintroduce a
    decriminalization bill that would fine those caught with a small stash
    of less than 15 grams.

    While the current proposal cracks down on growers and sellers,
    Trudeau's cabinet took a more sympathetic view of traffickers.

    "The solicitor general stated his view that the penalties for
    traffickers were much too high, since in most cases the traffickers
    were only pawns in the hands of the international dealers in drugs,"
    one cabinet document reads.

    Records of the closed-door pot discussions are among scores of secret
    documents that offer a glimpse into how Trudeau's minority Liberal
    government stickhandled sensitive issues of the day.

    With a war in Vietnam, a controversial bilingualism policy and a
    crisis of soaring oil prices, Trudeau's cabinet recognized that
    co-operation with the opposition parties was the key to survival.

    "It was agreed that ministers other than the prime minister should try
    to maintain contacts with the New Democratic Party and indicate that
    some of its priorities could be met, but certainly not all of them,"
    reads one cabinet meeting synopsis.